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The 3 Major Types Of Lifts You Can Buy

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lift elevators

lift elevators

As cities get crowded with domestic construction projects, office and hotel buildings are higher than ever. Numbers support that figure too, with elevator sales reaching almost $123 billion US dollars in 2020. That number is estimated to grow to $183.45 billion by 2027. More and more business and property owners need lifts to efficiently vertically transport cargo and people through their tall buildings.

This article will discuss the three major types of lifts that most modern buildings use today.  Starting with…

1. Machine Room Less Elevators

These elevators are often referred to as MRL elevators. As the name suggests, these don’t require a dedicated machine room on top. Instead, they work via a control room sitting beside the elevator shaft at the highest landing floor.

The maintenance costs for these lifts are about the same as traction lifts, but they win in terms of travel speeds. MRL lifts can go as quickly as 500 feet (or about 150 meters) per minute, with a max travel distance of 250 meters. These lifts even help save up on electricity costs, as they’re fairly energy efficient.

MRL lifts are getting more and more popular with time. The Burj Khalifa—the tallest building in the world—has 57 lifts in it, 24 of which are machine room-less elevators featuring cutting edge technology.


2. Hydraulic Elevators

Hydraulic elevators are in many ways the simplest lifts. They work via a piston that pushes from underneath when needed. An electric motor moves the piston by pushing hydraulic fluid into it. When the lift needs to go down, some of that fluid gets released from the piston through a valve.

Hydraulic elevators are common, generally found in buildings that aren’t too tall. Their primary benefit is a low cost of acquisition and maintenance as compared to the following two types.

If you’d like to get any type of lift installed into your office building, get in touch with S&D Lifts UK for their services.


3. Traction Elevators

Traction elevators are much faster than their hydraulic counterparts, taking much less time to transport people from floor A to B. They’re more popular in mid to high buildings.

Traction lifts move with the help of an electric motor that moves ropes or cables, pulling up the cabin. The electric motor is governed by the machine room that sits atop the elevator. The entire setup is a lot like an enlarged pulley system that has a geared wheel with cables moving across it.

To ensure safety, the gear system and cables of a traction lift must be inspected for wear and tear regularly. Upon significant deterioration, lifts can lose their efficiency and become dangerous for passengers.



With lifts, the goal is to achieve safe, convenient, and efficient vertical transportation while keeping running costs as low as possible. Each elevator type has its own set of pros and cons, and the ideal choice for you depends on your needs and preferences. A professional lift installation company will provide you with professional advice and recommendations that suit your needs.